Transfer Talk: Potential Recruitment At The Bridge

Chelsea FC’s board of directors must be ruing the day it decided to embark on an ambitious cost-cutting drive – an austerity measure, the likes of which Cameron’s Tories would have been proud of. The board, were aided in their decision, by a seemingly-pliable Carlo Ancelotti who agreed with the board’s assessment that a leaner, meaner fighting force was the need of the hour, at bloated, wasteful Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea’s undoing came about as a result of two, unsurprising yet perfectly avoidable, reasons. Intoxicated with silverware in the post-Mourinho era, Chelsea FC mistook their double to mean the club had safely ensured continued dominance for the coming seasons. Cue the exodus of stars deemed to be over the hill, and not fitting into the coach’s plans for the club. The West London side truly pushed the envelope when they decided not to participate in the post-World Cup transfer market bartering, meaning the champions had few big name replacements for those who had left.

The second reason was commendable, conceptually speaking, but impractical in application. Chelsea filled its first-team voids by promoting youth team players not yet battle tested to deliver on the big stage, and with signings of bit-players and cameo stars. Now that would have proven to be a masterstroke, had Chelsea’s stars not fallen by the wayside with illnesses and injuries. These stars were relatively aged, and unlike the slower paced Italian league where Ancelotti made his career, the English Premier League prized fitness, speed and youth over the strengths that only years can bring. Left to compete with the likes of a rejuvenated Manchester United, a resurgent Arsenal and an aggressive Manchester City, Chelsea’s team of second string starlets cracked – dropping a 5 points lead, and three places in the standings.

Chelsea have no option but to bring out the big guns this winter and at the start of next season. The claim that the era of big money purchases were over, and that Chelsea had come up with its own factory line have truly rung hollow and The Blues could possibly go on to suffer the ignominy of losing out on Champions League qualification, just one season after winning most of what was on offer on English soil. Abramovich will certainly be disappointed the club has failed to stand on its own two feet, but after having watched his team struggle to stay afloat, he’ll find bankrolling another massive buying spree this winter a necessity.

Whom Chelsea choose to buy, is at this point, very much a matter of conjecture but certain to make the list are some of Europe’s most renowned names and upcoming talents.

Carlos Tevez

The Argentinian striker has been a constant thorn in the side for the Blues, since his days in Manchester United. Easily one of the most feared strikers in Europe, Tevez runs the length of the field, is a tireless worker, and is a proven talent in the EPL.

Carlo Ancelotti was reputed to have been so in awe of the striker, that he reportedly sought Hernan Crespo’s intervention. The big money that Manchester City rolled out was enough to tempt Tevez, and the move to eventual champions Chelsea never materialized. Things have changed since then, and Tevez will gladly ditch Mancini at the earliest.

Tevez, however, is not a popular figure at The Bridge and has tussled with John Terry on several occasions – most notably as a vocal member of ‘Team Bridge’. With bad blood between the two unlikely to lessen, despite the obvious professionalism that characterizes both players, Carlo risks unsettling the team with this purchase.

THT Purchase Rating – 8/10

THT Risk Factor – 7/10

THT Verdict – A prize catch, if the Blues do land him

Andy Carroll

Is Newcastle’s newest bad boy ready to take the next leap in his career?

The young Newcastle United striker is ripe for the picking, and Chelsea are likely to launch a massive bid for his services. Just nearing the promising age of 22, the 6 foot 3 has already garnered rave reviews in the English Premier League for his heading ability and perceived similarities with Alan Shearer.

Carroll has already impressed those at the Bridge, and presumably Carlo too, with a standout performance against the Blues. It will be a smart career move for the budding striker to play alongside fellow country men John Terry, Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole, boosting his claim for a spot in the international line-up. He does, however, bring with him a penchant to make the headlines for bar brawls and other disciplinary issues which is certainly not what a recently chastened Chelsea outfit is looking for.

THT Purchase Rating – 7/10

THT Risk Factor – 4/10

THT Verdict – Must buy, if not now then in the summer.

Kaka

He might cost way less than what Madrid paid for his services in the first place, and that’s something which could work in his favor. Real Madrid looks to have undergone a generational shift in team make-up, and Kaka may barely recognize his team if he does make it to the line-up. Mourinho is not known to mould his team to accommodate big name stars, and the future looks increasingly bleak for the former FIFA World Footballer of the year.

Ancelotti should be able to prod his ward into accepting a move to London, but the deal might fall through if Madrid choose to play hardball. Chelsea will understandably be once bitten, twice shy after Schevchenko-gate and are unlikely to pay anything deemed even remotely excessive for the fading star.

What works against his favor are the troubles Brazilian stars face when adapting to the English league, and the fact that this Chelsea outfit revolves around Frank Lampard. He just might go from being an unwanted figure in the Galacticos, to an unwelcome presence at Stamford Bridge.

THT Purchase Rating – 6/10

THT Risk Factor – 5/10

THT Verdict – Highly unlikely

Bastian Schweinsteiger

Pure fantasy? Good ol’ Schweini has the whole of Europe salivating at the prospect of having the midfield maestro playing for them. The German’s sent feelers all year long to Chelsea, praising the defending champions, but also leaving an opening for Manchester United with a nod in Fergie’s direction. He then surprised English fans by choosing to ink a deal that would keep him with the Bavarian giants until 2016.

Still, when a week is a long time in football, two years can seem an eternity. Both Manchester United and Chelsea will definitely continue to be on the prowl.

THT Purchase Rating – 8/10

THT Risk Factor – 2/10

THT Verdict – Unlikely. Wait and watch.

Darijo Srna

Transfer rumors don’t get more puzzling than this. Just when it looked like Srna’s entry into Chelsea was all but done, it fell right through. To Carlo’s credit he said nothing in the run up, leaving us scratching our heads as to whether the tabloids had dreamt this all up.

Darijo’s agent himself indicated the Shakhtar Donetsk player and Croatian player was looking for a move, but with the latter best suited for right back – a position that can be held by Bosingwa, Ivanovic and Ferreira – Chelsea aren’t exactly kicking down his front door.

Srna might be a revelation on the right flank of midfield in a 4-4-2, but his advancing years make him a risky purchase.

THT Purchase Rating – 6/10

THT Risk Factor – 6/10

THT Verdict – It would be an impulse buy, if it happens.

Gary Cahill

An English answer to the central defensive problems?

A defender with a taste for goals, Cahill will be a welcome addition to Chelsea’s scanty ranks of central defenders. With just half a year to go on his contract, and despite Bolton Wanderers protestations to the contrary, Cahill looks ready for a move as early as the winter break. Along with a purchase of Andy Carroll, Cahill will add to the distinctly English spine that characterizes the Blues.

With Alex out, and Ivanovic having to deputize on the right and in central defense, Carlo needs to roll up his sleeves and deliver on this one signing. Owen Coyle will be hard to convince, but a player-plus-cash deal might just be what the doctor ordered. He’s had a spell on the sidelines with an injury in 2010, but looks to have shaken it off.

THT Purchase Rating – 7/10

THT Risk Factor – 3/10

THT Verdict – Must buy.

Ergo, Chelsea must try to sign Andy Carroll and Gary Cahill this winter. If unsuccessful, the club should try again in the summer. The last time Chelsea purchased a striker and a defender in January, it turned out to be a masterstroke. Today, Anelka and Ivanovic are mainstays in the Chelsea starting line up.

8 Responses to “Transfer Talk: Potential Recruitment At The Bridge”

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  1. A Blaugrana says:

    Chelsea needs to get young players (22-23) who wouldn’t mind warming the bench for the first 1-2 years.
    In a way they won’t be too young to face stronger oppositions and neither too experienced to claim a first team berth. However they’ll be in a position to challenge the first XI players to earn their place in the team. Some of the players have started taking their position for granted.
    Kaka wouldn’t be a wise move. He underwent a knee surgery and I doubt if he can bear the rigors of the premier league.
    I would love to see Balotelli and Marko Marin @ the bridge. Both exceptionally talented, yet young.
    For flanks, Eljero Elia and Kroos would just be apt.
    As far as midfielders are concerned, Ramires should be given some more time.

  2. ^^^^ Well said. I guess some of the players need a hair dryer treatment. Can we hire Ferguson as a special officer for a few hours to do this? Ancelotti is too nice a man to do something this drastic! :)

  3. Jose's Bitch says:

    Is this some kinda fantasy?? FFS aint this the january transfer window?

  4. Joker says:

    Chelsea and young players don’t go hand in hand. They’re bust now. Silly money whores.